The Pretty Planeteer

Addicted to Fast Fashion? 5 Stylish Sustainable Brands to Try Instead

August 14, 2019

Addicted to Fast Fashion? 5 Stylish Sustainable Brands to Try Instead

We all know that fast fashion is probably not the best way to produce our clothes. Switching to more ethical and sustainable clothing can be very difficult at first (at least it was for me). Sustainable brands might seem too minimalist, even boring, and way too expensive compared to fast fashion.

I’m here to help you get started successfully on your sustainable fashion journey with these 5 brands that are perfect alternatives to fast fashion.

But first, I think it’s important to mention that yes, these brands are going to be more expensive and somewhat more minimalist than what you might be used to. If you’re worried about the price and whether they’re worth it, read my other posts about why it’s worth spending more on clothes and why the quality of fast fashion is problematic.

And concerning the more minimalist styles, you have to know that most sustainable brands don’t follow trends. Slow fashion encourages you to find your personal style and to invest only in the items that truly suit your personality and lifestyle. So instead of always buying the latest craze, you might want to develop a style that will make you happy for years to come.

I hope these 5 brands will help you start your ethical fashion journey! They are staples in the wardrobes of many sustainable bloggers (including mine), and don’t worry they are just as easy to get hooked on as fast fashion brands! If you need more inspo, you can check out my all-time favorite sustainable brands (these brands are also mentioned there)!

*The marked links are affiliate links which means that I get a small commission for purchases made through them without any additional cost to you.

 

Everlane*

Why love: High-quality everyday basics made to look extremely stylish for a fair price.

Price range: $

Women’s clothing: yes

Men’s clothing: yes

Kid’s clothing: no

Categories: clothing, shoes, bags, accessories, underwear

Shipping: international

Values: fair factories, transparency, body inclusivity

Everlane* is the favorite brand of lots of ethical fashion bloggers. They have a clean, minimal style, but their clothes are far from boring! They look super stylish and sophisticated! And their quality is great too! I have a pair of white jeans from Everlane, and it is a staple in my wardrobe.

You could put together a whole wardrobe with Everlane items, and it still wouldn’t be boring. They have a lot of different styles and color combinations to mix and match, and they come out with new collections pretty often so you can never get bored of them.

If you have a less minimal style, Everlane is still a great place to start. Basic T-shirts and jeans are probably part of your wardrobe too. Everlane basics are better quality than the usual 3 for $10 T-shirts. Even though they cost a bit more, the better fit and durability compensates for that.

Everlane is an ethical brand that doesn’t use sweatshops. For each of their items, they have a link to a page where you can read about the factory it was made in. They are also very transparent about their pricing. At the bottom of a product page, you can see the breakdown of the price of the item. You can compare the true cost of an item (materials,  hardware, labor, duties, transport) with the actual price and the traditional retail price of a similar item.

However, Everlane is not a sustainable brand. At least, they don’t say they are. They use materials that are not sustainable, and they have new collections quite often. On the other hand, the brand’s main focus is quality and durability which makes them a bit more sustainable than fast fashion brands, especially if you make your items last.

They are working on becoming more sustainable, and are often coming out with sustainable collections such as recycled plastic apparel which are pretty cool!

 

The RealReal*

Why love: Designer pieces for a fraction of the original price.

Price range: $$

Women’s clothing: yes

Men’s clothing: yes

Kid’s clothing: yes

Categories: clothing, shoes, bags, accessories, jewelry, swimwear

Shipping: international

Values: second-hand

The RealReal* is a gold mine! You can shop for high-end and designer brands on their site. They have a huge selection of clothing and accessories for less than half of the original retail price.

From the latest trends to vintage designer items, you can find everything on The RealReal. And these are cool, unique pieces, not the same shirts from Zara everyone is wearing.

Yes, the prices are a little higher than fast-fashion prices, and they also depend on what brands you’re looking for. But The RealReal makes designer fashion a lot more attainable. There are tons of cute clothes, bags, and shoes under $100 you can choose from. And you don’t even need to worry about the quality because The RealReal only excepts items in perfect condition.

And the other great thing about them is that you can also consign your designer clothing you don’t wear anymore. So if you buy something from them, and take good care of it, you can always resell it through their site to get back some money!

I love The RealReal because it helps to extend the lives of our clothes. Especially these designer clothes that are truly exceptional, unlike mass-produced fast fashion, deserve to be worn and loved. If you have a designer item that you don’t wear anymore, you have the opportunity to consign it and get back some money. And if you’d like to buy designer clothes, you have the opportunity to find awesome treasures for only a fraction of the original retail price. It is a true win-win-win-win situation for the reseller, the new buyer, the company, and the planet as well!

 

Armedangels

Why love: Fast fashion aesthetics with sustainable ethics.

Price range: $

Women’s clothing: yes

Men’s clothing: yes

Kid’s clothing: no

Categories: clothing, accessories

Shipping: international

Values: fairtrade, sustainable materials and production, PETA-approved vegan collection

Armedangels is a German ethical brand that fills in the gap between sustainable fashion and fast fashion. Their prices are very similar to Zara and H&M prices, however, the quality and ethical standards of their clothes are much higher. Their style is still very minimal, but with an edgy twist, some trendy items here and there, and more colors than most sustainable brands.

I think Armedangels and Everlane are the perfect brands to dip your toe into ethical fashion and high-quality clothing. They are not that expensive that buying one item would break the bank, especially if you’re already spending a lot of money on fast fashion. Youn can buy one item at first and see the difference for yourself. See how sustainable materials such as Tencel© and organic cotton feel differently, how the item doesn’t get damaged after a couple of wears, and how does it feel to tell the story of your clothes instead of saying ‘Thanks, it’s from Zara’.

Every Armedangels item is made with sustainable materials, in fair factories. Armedangels is part of the Fair Wear Foundation that works on improving supply chains in the fashion industry. You can find their social report on their site in which they list all the factories they’re working with, the wages, the overtimes, special benefits, the number of male and female employees in a transparent way.

As for their environmental impact, they state that by using 100% sustainable materials they were able to save 68% of their water, and 59% of their energy use, and 55% of their CO2 emissions.

Most of the Armedangels collection doesn’t use any animal materials and is PETA-approved vegan. Finding vegan-friendly organic cotton sweaters hasn’t been easier!

 

People Tree

Why love: Exceptional quality and ethics colored with beautiful print collaborations.

Price range: $$

Women’s clothing: yes

Men’s clothing: no

Kid’s clothing: no

Categories: clothing, activewear, underwear, accessories, jewelry

Shipping: international

Values: fairtrade, sustainable, transparency, handmade, charity

People Tree has a very casual feminine style that I love. They create small collections that are super chic and stylish. The quality of their clothes and their social impact is exceptional.

People Tree is a little more expensive than Armedangels and Everlane, but it is also more unique. Their style is less minimal which means it can be more tailored for women with a feminine style. If you like beautiful dresses and one-of-a-kind prints, you’re guaranteed to find something you like at People Tree. The brand often works in collaboration with other designers and companies to create special prints and the result is always amazing.

They take more responsibility for their workers. People Tree only works with garment manufacturers of the highest ethical standards that provide fair wages to their workers. Each of these factories and rural artisan communities is specialized in a certain technique. People Tree is very transparent about its supply chain, you can find all the manufacturers they work with on their website.

Of course, People Tree is also committed to sustainable production. They achieve that with the use of natural materials, organic farming, efficient water use, biodegradable materials, and such.

The People Tree Foundation is a charity that helps small garment workshops in the developing world. Their aim is to create a decent living for the workers, to protect the environment through sustainable practices, to support community projects, and to raise awareness to Fair Trade sustainable fashion in the UK and other developed countries.

People Tree is a pioneer in sustainable Fair Trade fashion since 1991. The brand is proving that ethical fashion is possible without having to compromise on style. It should be a blueprint for other brands to follow.

 

Reformation*

Why love: The pretties dresses you’ve ever seen made responsibly.

Price range: $$

Women’s clothing: yes

Men’s clothing: no

Kid’s clothing: no

Categories: clothing, shoes, accessories, underwear, wedding

Shipping: international

Values: sustainability, carbon offset, transparency, made in the USA (partly), body inclusivity

Reformation* is the chicest sustainable brand ever. I love their effortless, feminine style, and trendy clothes.

Reformation is the perfect alternative to fast fashion because it is equally stylish, it has an endless collection of cute items, but the clothes are made in a sustainable way. They have everything you need from classy jeans to stylish accessories, but they are most known about their gorgeous dresses. I wouldn’t look anywhere else if I needed a dress I could wear at weddings, dates and other special occasions.

Reformation slogan is: “Being naked is the #1 most sustainable option. We’re #2.” I’m not sure it is entirely true, but I’m certain that Reformation is giving its maximum to produce its collections as responsibly as possible. From the use of sustainable and recycled materials, eco dyes, and local manufacturing in LA, through recycled paper tags, they make attention to all the little details. Even their packaging is 100% compostable! And they also offset the carbon footprint of their shipping by planting trees that absorb the same amount of CO2.

80% of their manufacturing and most of their sourced materials are made in the USA. This helps to keep the environmental footprint of the brand low, but it also helps the US economy and creates jobs locally. They are transparent about what they expect from the factories they’re working with.

 


Csilla Herbszt

Written by Csilla Herbszt, a sustainably stylish fashion blogger living her vegan life in Switzerland. You should follow her on Instagram!